Decided on July 02,1968

C.K.ASSAINAR Respondents


- (1.) The respondent, the accused in a crime before Perintalmanna Police Station, applied before the Munsif Magistrate, Pattambi for an order directing the Collector to produce before Court the nice seized from him. The Taluk Supply Officer filed objections claiming that the Collector was not bound to produce the rice before the Munsif Magistrate. The Munsif Magistrate overruled the objection and passed an order directing the Collector to produce the rice. The State of Kerala has filed the revision petition against that order.
(2.) A lorry belonging to the respondent carrying 100 bags of rice capsized on 3rd March, 1968, at about 5 p. m. The police reached the scene and seized the rice and the lorry. The respondent and the lorry were produced before the Munsif Magistrate the next day; and the 100 bags of rice were retained by the police to be produced before the Collector. The respondent was also charged under S.279 of the Penal Code. The grounds on which the Munsif Magistrate directed the Collector to produce the rice before him were that the case came within S.523 of the Code of Criminal Procedure; and that under S.6A of the Essential Commodities Act, the Collector had the right to have the rice produced before him only if he had the power to confiscate it. The Munsif Magistrate held that since the case was now before him, the rice had to be produced before him.
(3.) The interpretation put upon S.5(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure by the Munsif Magistrate does not appear to be correct. The Munsif Magistrate seems to think that under sub-s.(2) of S.5 a special enactment can regulate only the manner or place of investigating, inquiring into, trying or otherwise dealing with an offence: in his opinion, this will not include making provision for the disposal of the property involved in the offence. The Munsif Magistrate says that "trying" is only alternative with "otherwise dealing with". This is obviously incorrect. Under S.5(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, all offences under the Indian Penal Code shall be investigated, inquired into, tried, and otherwise dealt with according to the provisions of the Code. The expression "otherwise dealt with" occurring in this sub-section evidently includes disposal of property under Chap.43 of the Code. The same expression, "otherwise dealing with", occurs in Sub-s.(2) as well; and that expression can only have the same meaning as in sub-s.(1). Therefore, if a special statute makes provision for the disposal of the property involved in an offence under that statute, such provision must displace the relevant provisions of the Code. The Criminal Procedure Code is a general code laying down the procedure in criminal cases generally; and if by a special statute an offence is created and provision is also made for the disposal of the property involved in such offence, there cannot be any objection for that provision being applied to the property involved in that offence. Therefore, the view of the Munsif Magistrate that S.523 of the Code applies can hold good only if there are no provisions for disposal of property in the Essential Commodities Act and the Kerala Rice (Regulation of Movement) Order.;

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